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article imageOp-Ed: Why concealed-carry on campus won't end college rape culture

By Calvin Wolf     Feb 24, 2015 in Crime
The news cycle is abuzz with news that 10 states are proposing an end to banning firearms on college campuses. Some proponents of allowing concealed-carry on campus argue that it will help fight rape culture and protect women. Why they're wrong.
Too many people appear to be misinformed on statistics regarding rape and sexual assault, especially on college campuses. Perhaps influenced by Hollywood, some people seem to feel that most rapes are committed by violent men who grab unsuspecting women from the shadows of dark corners on college campuses. Statistics reveal, of course, that most rapes and sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances, dates, friends, and even relatives. According to the University of Michigan, the stereotype of rape as being committed by an aggressive, sexually-repressed male against a physically attractive female is very incorrect.
The New York Times reports that 10 states are considering overturning longstanding bans on guns on college campuses. Some pundits have seized on this initiative and are trying to garner support for concealed-carry on campus by claiming that arming young women on college campuses will combat colleges' "rape culture." S.E. Cupp opines on CNN that women should not be disarmed on college campuses, tacitly asserting that armed women on campus can reduce the prevalence of rape and sexual assault.
Cupp is misleading the public by insinuating that most rapes on college campus are of the "stalker in the shadows" variety, allowing a woman with quick-draw skills to draw a bead on her oncoming assailant and stand him down. This Hollywood-esque portrayal of defense against rape fails to accept that most rape and sexual assault on campus occurs during and after social situations, when both parties are unarmed and are often intoxicated. Due to the prevalence of alcohol and immaturity, handguns on college campuses are likelier to be used irresponsibly than for self-defense.
During and after drunken parties, do we want guns to be in the hands of any college students? While some female students may indeed be able to use their concealed handguns to defend themselves from rapists and molesters, how many will accidentally hurt themselves or others in gun-related mishaps? How many might lose their guns or have them stolen, leading to further danger on campus?
The Hollywood vision of rape culture being stopped by packing heat is likely appealing to many, but is grossly irrational and misleading. Adding guns to college campuses will only add guns to college campuses...it will only occasionally stop a rape or sexual assault.
Plus, if we want to arm some people on college campuses to protect them from potential assaults, we must arm everyone...including those who would be perpetrators. And who is more likely to keep their gun around and ready for action - the victim or the aggressor? Think about it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about rape culture, rape crisis, College, college life, Higher education
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